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JENNIFER'S LOCAL CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS YOU CAN USE!

Jennifer Garrity - Dean's Team Customer Service CoordinatorREAD ABOUT LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS HERE! 

CHICAGO - Need for food getting urgent

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is launching its very first initiative dubbed "One City, One Food Drive" throughout November and December to help offset the shortage of food needed to meet demands among Cook County residents. 

Starting Nov. 12, businesses, places of worship, schools and other organizations are being asked to hold food drives for non-perishable canned and dry goods. Groups can drop the goods off at their local Dominick's Food Store, or at the Food Depository at 4100 W. Ann Lurie Place in Chicago. The Food Depository can also pick up food for groups that collect seven or more boxes.

Bob Dolgan, the spokesperson for the Food Depository says "We hold 600 food drives annually, with 500 of those taking place during the holiday season.  There are areas of (the city and suburbs) where we are not sending enough food.  We found that certain areas have such a depth of need, that while there may be a dozen pantries in those areas, it is not enough."   To get involved or learn more click here

LAKEVIEW - Planned tax hikes spur North Side revolt

On October 31st,  Beth Murphy, owner of Murphy's Bleachers, 3656 N. Sheffield Ave., opposed a proposed liquor tax hike along with Barb Head, Chicago tax reformer, during back-to-back news conferences outside of City Council chambers where aldermen will be considering Mayor Richard Daley's 2008 budget proposal which includes hikes in property and liquor taxes.

Chicago already has the highest liquor taxes of any U.S. metropolitan area, said Murphy.  The increase proposed by Daley would mean an 85 percent tax increase on liquor since 2005.   Per Larry Stevens of the City Wide Liquor Association, taxes already account for 40 percent of the price of beer in Chicago.  That means that for every $1 in profit made by brewers, governments get about $10 in tax revenues.

"Chicagoans take great pride in being a city of neighborhoods. It's a place where you spend a lifetime picking up groceries at the corner market, relaxing with friends at neighborhood pubs and ordering your favorite meal at a family-run restaurant. But all those home-grown businesses are threatened by what has become a constant government-mandated stream of higher expenses."   "Tax increases, higher utility bills and insurance costs are all going to squeeze out the 'mom and pop' businesses we grew up with in Chicago," Murphy said.   Read the entire article by clicking here

EDISON PARK - Bryn Mawr homes left out of O'Hare noise plan

When it came to designating eligible homes for Chicago's Residential Sound Insulation Program, 15 houses along the 7600 block of West Bryn Mawr Avenue that should have been included were unjustly left defenseless.  "They got screwed," said 41st Ward Alderman Brian Doherty.

What's at issue is demonstrated on an interactive map on the city's Web site. Eligible homes on the map, approved under the 2006 Sound Insulation Program, are marked with purple dots. The computer-generated selections fall within or just outside a 65-decibel noise footprint that's projected to be produced by aircraft taking off and landing at O'Hare International Airport in 2013. According to the rules governing which residences will be among the haves or have-nots when it comes to the federally financed sound insulation, if that 65 decibel line of demarcation touches a block or a street between blocks, the houses on either side are included.

According to Doherty, that scheme worked just fine for homeowners on the 7500 and 7700 blocks of Bryn Mawr, but it didn't for those 15 houses sandwiched in between.

LINCOLN PARK - Prost! rolls out the beer barrel in Lincoln Park

Women looking for a place to go during the week where they don't outnumber men (about equal on the weekends) should try Prost!

Opened three months ago, Prost!, which means "Cheers" in German, is Lincoln Park's new authentic German bar & restaurant, located at 2566 N. Lincoln Ave.  The layout is modeled after the Hofbrauhaus in Munich.

With two bars and a 40-foot row of community tables, as well as waitresses in full Bavarian dress right down to the Lederhosen, you can pick a table, sit down, and watch the magic as a diverse crowd interacts at this ultimate German beer hall.   There are 12 German beers on tap and another five available in bottles. There is also Miller Light for those who don't want to drink German ales.   

EVANSTON - After years of apartment living, in 1995 Bonnie Jackson became the proud owner of a near-perfect north Evanston home.

Bonnie, who bought her house after her divorce, said "I loved everything about the house and neighborhood." It had the right sunny southern exposure and a garden that wasn't too big or too small and, for the first time, I had painted my house all of the colors I wanted."

Six years later, Bonnie was laid off and diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, all in one week.  Selling the house seemed like the only option.  Jackson learned of a program called Homesharing at the Interfaith Housing Center.  She now rents two of her rooms to carefully screened renters. Her roommates help pay the mortgage and also contribute to a sense of community.

The program coordinator Jackie Grossman  said, "The homesharing program has been quietly making matches in the northern suburbs for 20 years. The program's main goal is to allow senior citizens to age in place despite fixed incomes, rising property taxes and health challenges."  

A renter pays between $450 and $600 per month for a room and access to most of the house. If the homeowner has special needs, the renter may help in other ways like running errands or making dinner in exchange for lower rent, and all such arrangements are written into a homesharing contract.   To learn more click here.

DO YOU HAVE NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS THAT MUST BE SHARED?  Let me know.

DEAN'S TEAM "CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD" REPORTER,

JENNIFER GARRITY

Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2007 10:49 AM by Dean's Team

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